Google Nexus 7 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0: Which Tablet Will You Buy?

By Akansha Srivastava | Jun 30, 2012 10:22 AM EDT

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Google has finally taken the wraps off its new tablet - the Asus-made Nexus 7. The new shiny device with a price tag of $199.99 has created a buzz in the tech industry and is anticipated to saturate the tablet market by throwing an open challenge to the entry-level tablets like Kindle Fires and Nooks.

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However, Nexus 7 is not alone. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which was announced by the South Korean electronics giant at the Mobile World Congress held in February and was released in April, boasts of pretty decent specs and carries a price tag of $249.99 (8GB).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and is one of the most affordable tablets in the world, was hot on the heels of Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook tablet. But the debut of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)-powered Nexus 7, which will be available in the US, the UK, Australia and Canada by mid-July, means Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has a new rival to contend with.

Both the tablets are bold, beautiful and packs impressive specs. So, given a choice, which of the two would you buy? A quick look at the comparison of specs below will perhaps help make the decision easier.

Display

The Google-branded, Asus-made Nexus 7 will pack a 7-inch backlit IPS LCD display with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution covered in "Scratch-resistant Corning glass."

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 sports the same 7-inch screen but comes with a PLS TFT LCD WSVGA display and TouchWiz UX user interface (UI), although with a lesser 1024 X 600 pixels of resolution.

Nexus 7 also has a pixel density of 216 PPI (pixels per inch), which is again higher than the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (170 PPI).

An analysis by AnandTech revealed the Google Nexus 7, that the tablet was on par in terms of pixel density when compared to Apple iPad 2, ASUS Transformer Prime and the 11-inch MacBook Pro. However, it did not do as well against Apple's new iPad, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display and ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity.

Dimensions

Both the tablets boast of similar physical dimensions, although the Nexus 7 is slightly thicker. However, it is a lighter and more portable than 7-inch rivals such as Blackberry PlayBook and Kindle Fire.

Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 measures 193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5mm and weighs 344grams. In comparison, the Nexus 7 measures 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm, but weighs slightly less - 340grams.

Operating System

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 runs on Android 4.0 operating system, whereas, the Nexus 7 will ship with the new Android 4.1 OS (Jelly Bean) pre-installed. The next generation OS will run with enhanced capabilities like offline voice typing, Google Now, improved and re-sized homescreen widgets and notifications, upgraded photo sharing app with the capabilities of NFC technology and the newly introduced Project Butter, which is Google's attempt to make the entire UI "fast, fluid and smooth." It will include triple buffering in the graphics pipeline, to ensure consistent frame rates with interface animations.

Both the tablets will come packed with the same 1GB RAM and Google has also announced that device manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, and Sony will get the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean SDK in mid-July too. Which means that Samsung fans can expect Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 to be upgraded to the new Jelly Bean OS very soon.

Processor

The Nexus 7 is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, which has been clocked at 1.3GHz and has a support of 12-core graphics chip.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is powered by TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz.

Both chips - TI and Nvidia, offer good value for money and are powerful performers. However, according to industry observers, the latter has fewer battery issues.

Camera

On the camera front, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 scores high on the comparison sheet, as the tablet packs a 3.15-megapixel rear-facing camera and an additional front-facing VGA shooter with features including geo-tagging and smile detection. Moreover, it can record video at 720p and 30 frames per second (fps).

The Google Nexus 7 is equipped with only a 1.2-megapixe front-facing camera that has been designed for video calling and 720p video capture. The Google tablet does not have a rear-facing camera.

Connectivity

The Nexus 7 is a non-3G tablet. However, it has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, NFC functionality, preinstalled Google Wallet app and 3.5mm headset jack.

On the other end, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 offers Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and HS. The tablet also supports 3G connectivity offering data speeds of up to HSDPA 21Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps.

Storage

The Google Nexus 7 will be offered in two variants: 8GB and 16GB. Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is available in 8GB/16GB/32GB options. Also, the Samsung tablet has the advantage of an expandable memory storage option (up to 32GB), thanks to microSD card slot, which is lacking in Nexus 7.

Battery

The Nexus 7 will come loaded with Li-ion 4325mAh battery, which is expected to serve 8 hours video playback time and 300 hours of standby time.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is powered by a Li-Ion 4000mAh standard battery which, according to a CNET report of the tablet's battery test, could keep the device juiced up for a little over seven hours on normal video usage.

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